Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Easy Chewy Peanut Butter Bars

Baking up a batch of these yummy treats!!! I have shared this recipe before, but it is worth repeating. ENJOY!~

Easy Chewy Peanut Butter Bars

1/2 cup butter (NOT margarine) or 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Spray 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. melt butter and peanut butter in large glass bowl in microwave or in a sauce pan over low heat on stove
  3. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.
  4. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned and edges start to pull away from sides of pan.
  5. ENJOY!!



What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eating at home can save your life......

"The slow insidious displacement of home cooked and communally shared family meals by the industrial food system has fattened our nation and weakened our family ties. In 1900, 2 percent of meals were eaten outside the home. In 2010, 50 percent were eaten away from home and one in five breakfasts is from McDonald's. Most family meals happen about three times a week, last less than 20 minutes and are spent watching television or texting while each family member eats a different microwaved "food." More meals are eaten in the minivan than the kitchen."

***Read the complete article by Dr. Mark Hyman.

This is why I have such a passion for the family supper!!!! I know modern life is crazy and busy and that cooking skills are often limited. It is for these reasons that I created my Simple Family Supper menu plan kits. EASY meals, complete organization.... ENJOY and build your family life. I want you to experience GREAT family time without stress.

Have a BLESSED day,

Friday, January 21, 2011

A great way to start off the day.....

The first hour of the day (well, the first hour I am awake) is very special. How that morning hour goes tends to set the stage for the next few hours. I can tell you it is very helpful for me to get up BEFORE the kids... have some quiet alone time to think and pray before I have jump into my role as Mom. I will admit when I over sleep and am forced to jump into mom mode immediately I am far too likely to not be the Mom I want to give my children.

Today we have a two hour delay due to very cold temperatures and blowing and drifting snow. I was able to sleep in a little and still have some quiet alone time before the kids got up! Yeah!! (I'm not naturally a early morning gal so sleeping in till 6:30 was a treat) Connecting with God FIRST really helps me to connect with others (I know... shocking!). :)

This morning I ran across the following prayer on Homespunheart and I printed it off. I think I am going to start praying this on my own and with my children every morning. *I need to write a post about the lessons our family has learned about prayer this year. God is GOOD!

"Lord, here are my hands;
I consecrate them to Thee.
May they never touch anything
that Thou wouldst not have them touch,
or do anything that would dishonour Thee.
And here are my feet;
I dedicate them to Thee.
May they never go
where Thou wouldst not be seen.
Here, Lord, are my eyes.
May they never look upon anything
that would grieve Thy Holy Spirit.
May my ears never listen to anything
dishonouring to Thy Name.
May my mouth never be opened to speak
a word that I would not want Thee to hear.
May my mind never retain a thought or
an imagination that would dim the sense of Thy Presence.
May my heart know no love,
and cherish no feeling that is not of Thee."

~ Oswald J. Smith
"The Man God Uses"

Have a BLESSED day,
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This is the day......

To enjoy each moment.... because this is my life!! Instead of making a list of new years resolutions this year I did what many others are doing.... prayed for one word to focus my efforts on. The word that God gave me was CONNECT. Connect with God, my husband, my children, my friends. I am a type A personality... I love accomplishing things, doing things, making things. I too often have pushed aside moments of connecting with the people I love in order to check the next thing off my list. CHOOSING SIMPLICITY means saying NO to some doing and YES to some people. It requires a re-evaluation of my 'to do' list. God never fails.... when I choose to connect with Him first all the other 'connecting' is much easier.

TODAY is my life. As my family prays for Joanne Heim and her family we realize in a fresh way how uncertain our time is. Celebrating today by CONNECTING with my loved ones is my focus for the year. Focusing on what matters most..... and I can tell you that I am learning that it is not a neatly checked off "to do" list. I will also admit there have been many things that have revealed my selfish heart. It is often easier to retreat to the laundry than give a loved one what they need. How sad is that. I have found that I base my worth far too much on my ability to accomplish things rather than resting in the grace of God. I am learning, I am growing. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord."

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!!!! It is with a joyful heart that I anticipate CONNECTING with others today!! :)

Have a BLESSED day,
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Monday, January 17, 2011

Invisible mother

My Grandma sent this to me. She knows I feel invisible sometimes. She is such an amazing woman and I so very much appreciate her example and encouragement to me! I'm just sure that their are many 'invisible' moms out there that will find this story as much as a blessing as I did. Thank you, Grandma, for sending this to me!!

Invisible Mother.....

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become. At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're going to love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Friday, January 14, 2011

Using my secret weapon is key on days like today....

We are doing some home improvement projects in the kitchen and dining room right now..... wonderful projects that my handyman husband is blessing us with. Today we will be putting down bamboo hardwood!! Needless to say, not much cooking has been going on this week. We have been living on cold sandwiches and cereal for a week. However, I just can't handle it anymore and the secret weapon is coming out! CROCK POT!!!!

I can plug in that baby in the living room and tonight we will enjoy a HOT meal!! mmmm yummy!

Here is one of our favorite recipes:
It can be eaten served over rice instead of as a sandwich. This recipe is in the March edition of my Simple Family Supper menu plan kits.

Savory Chicken Sandwiches

***Efficient cooking***

Crock Pot or Stove top


8 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 envelope onion soup mix

½ tsp garlic powder

½ cup prepared Italian salad dressing

1 cup water


1) Place Chicken in crock pot

2) Mix together remaining ingredients and pour on top of chicken.

3) Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours or on LOW 7-9 hours

4) Remove Chicken and shred meat. Return to cooking juices.

5) Serve on buns. Label and freeze extra meat and cooking juices in a freezer bag.

Side Suggestions: baby carrots, baked beans, salad, fruit

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I've been cleaning with this recipe now for FOUR years!

My love affair with this home made cleaner just keeps going!! I keep a spray bottle with this cleaner in each of our two bathrooms and in the kitchen. It is used daily. It costs so much less to make than buying commercial cleaners and it is environmentally friendly.

Home Made All-Purpose Cleaner (it is also a great glass cleaner... we have used it to clean every window in our house in addition to lots of other places)

  • 1 spray bottle (I just use the bottle I had from the last time I purchased a windex)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2-2/3 cup scented rubbing alcohol (I use up to 2/3 cup if I am going to use it all for windows)  *** or just use plain rubbing alcohol and add in several drops of your favorite essential oil.  I am using lavender right now, but if my husband could handle the smell of tea tree oil I would use that for the natural antibacterial properties it has.
  • Fill the rest of the bottle up with water.

The rubbing alcohol comes in wintergreen and citrus... you will find it with the other rubbing alcohol in the pharmacy section of your favorite store. Our dollar store sells it. The alcohol really speeds up dry time... no more streaks! It also completely covers the vinegar smell and leaves a wonderful mint or citrus fragrance. (I am NOT a fan of the vinegar smell... it is what prevented me from using other home made recipes.) I use this to wipe down my bathroom EVERYDAY! I also use it anywhere I would use windex and on my kitchen counters (I alternate days with bleach water).
Anyway, save a ton and help the environment!

Do you have a favorite home made cleaner you would want to share with me??

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sneaky cooking.... yes I do that!! :)

I admit it. I sneak things into our food all the time. Healthy things make it into my kids and husband all the time and they are unaware!! I LOVE it, and their bodies love it, too. My kids really enjoy my chili.... all because it doesn't seem like it has any beans. Anyone else want to sneak some beans into their kids?? :) (I will admit that now that the kids are older they realize that there are beans in my chili, but they don't mind at all.)

Here is my recipe. It is in the Money Wise Simple Family Supper menu plan kit. Enjoy!

Kids will love it CHILI

**Efficient Cooking: Brown up extra meat and Freeze

Crock Pot or Stove Top


1 pound browned ground meat

2 cans chili beans (use re-fried beans if you don’t have a blender)

1 can water

1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice or V-8 (here is another way to sneak in veggies)

1-2 tsp onion powder

½-1 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta of your choice (optional)

Crock Pot Directions:

1) Brown meat

2) Blend beans and 1 can of water in blender till smooth. Kids will love this chili because they won’t know that it has fiber and protein rich beans in it. The blending also reduces “bean affect”!!! If you don’t have a blender you can use refried beans instead.

3) Place all ingredients (except pasta) in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or on high 3-5 hours.

4) During last 45 minutes add pasta and cover and cook till pasta is tender.

Stove Top Directions:

1) Same as above

2) Place all ingredients (except pasta) in soup kettle. Cover and bring to boil on medium/low heat.

3) Once the chili has come to a boil add optional pasta. Simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Side Suggestions: Salad and cornbread. (cornbread mix is EASY, just follow directions on side of box)

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Monday, January 3, 2011

An EASY, yummy and budget friendly favorite meal in our house

Today for lunch (the kids are home for one last day of Christmas break) I made one of our favorite easy meals. My kids (not my husband) love brown rice so this is a meal I always make with brown rice when it is just the kids and I and make it with white when my husband will be eating it, too.

Anyway, it is easy, yummy and very budget friendly. It can also be modified in a hundred ways. Here is how I made it today:

"Sneaky style" beans and rice
  • 5 cups cooked seasoned rice (When I cook the rice in my rice cooker I add some cumin, turmeric, onion powder, garlic and salt)
  • 1 can chili beans blended till smooth... this is what makes it "sneaky".... no one feels like they are eating beans
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
Cook the rice. When rice is cooked simply stir together the rice, blended beans and tomato sauce. Spread in a baking dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and either bake in oven till warm or use microwave.


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!HeatherWhat is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com